Radley History Club logo Timeline of Radley Church: Quieter Times 1650–1830
Wider Events
Clive of India 1725-1754
Radley Mansion 1727
Admiral Sir George Bowyer 1739-1799
Nuneham House 1764
Clive of India 1725-1774
Radley Mansion 1727 (top) and Nuneham House 1764 (bottom)
Admiral Sir George Bowyer 1739-1799

This was a period of military victories and expanding empire abroad and grand squires in landscaped country mansions at home. The squire would typically appoint the vicar and work closely with him. At Nuneham, the church and villagers’ cottages were moved to make way for the new house and gardens.

Isaac Newton 1642-1726
John Wesley 1703-1791
John Lempriere 1765-1824
Isaac Newton 1642-1726
John Wesley 1703-1791
John Lempriere 1765-1824

In this period, the unreformed Church of England meant different things to different people. Newton was a rationalist, but also believed in divine design; Wesley took the Church to the people, travelling and preaching out of doors; Lempriere was a scholar who used religious office as a sinecure to finance his way of life.

Events in Radley


The Vicarage was extended northward and eastward, but in a similar style to the original building.


Church roof rebuilt, probably with a flatter pitch than before. It used to be believed that the Church had remained roofless since the Civil War, but the churchwardens’ annual reports show that the Church was in fact in good structural order.


Stonhouse family build new mansion in Radley Park – in the grand style of the time with surrounding landscaped parkland.


Five new bells cast for the Church by Abel Rudhall of Gloucester, the country’s leading bell foundry. These are the same bells as were restored in 2015 and were rung to mark the opening of this exhibition.


Survey of the Stonhouse estate shows that enclosure of Radley’s farms is now complete. The new tenants of the larger farms begin to feature regularly in the lists of churchwardens, displacing the smaller yeoman farmers who had previously performed this role.


First mention in churchwardens’ accounts of the killing of sparrows, a serious nuisance. Boys were paid 6d for each dozen killed.


The Bowyers succeed to Radley’s manor, including the right to appoint the vicar. The first Bowyer to hold the manor was Admiral Sir George, a hero of the battle of Ushant.


John Lempriere was vicar, a gifted scholar, but corrupt. He collected incumbencies for financial gain (pluralism) and while head of Abingdon School ran a racket for getting his pupils into Pembroke College Oxford. His precise role at Radley is unclear, but is unlikely to have commanded his full pastoral attention!


West gallery constructed and shortly afterwards pulled down. This was almost certainly a singing gallery and the church appointed a singing master at this time.


John Radcliffe was vicar. During his incumbency the Norman font, found opposite at Church Farm, was reinstated in the Church.

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